I recently read this blog-turned-into-a-book called “F#%$ I am in my Twenties” and could not agree more with the argument the author, Emma Koeing makes. The more I network with other people in their twenties, the more I realize just how accurate her observations are.
The basic premise of argument is that being in your twenties is not as glamorous as it seems. We all have this idea that we are going to graduate from college, obtain our dream job, and live happily ever after. We all think our jobs will be perfect, we will have the perfect co-workers, we will make the perfect amount of money to feed our social habits, we will never have to pull an all nighter again, we will get married to the perfect significant other, and our lives will be full forever. The older I get, the more I realize just how absurd that reality is. So many of my friends were saying, “I can’t wait to finish school. I just can’t take the stress anymore. I can’t wait to never take a test or write a paper again. I can’t wait to get a real job and have my own money.”
But the truth of the matter is, life still sucks after college. In retrospect, my college years were a breeze. I had the government supplying me with financial aide, so even though I did work a meager $9/hour job while in school, my income was still padded enough that I did not have to survive on Ramen noodles every night. Although I had some differences with my room mates, in the grand scheme of things, those issues were petty and frivolous. My bills were small: rent, electricity, and groceries. Now that I am in the real world, I have to worry about car payments and car insurance, health insurance and medical bills, retirement savings and repair savings, grocery money and gas bills. When I was in college, my life consisted of (a) going to class, (b) studying for class, (c) working out, and (d) socializing. Now that I am in the ‘real world’, I have an infinite amount of stuff to worry about–appointments to make, people to call, fires to put out. I have so many friends who, post-college, are struggling to find themselves again because they defined themselves as ‘students’ and now that they come home at 5 pm every day, they don’t know what to do with themselves. It is quite interesting to watch people go through this stage. They say between 18 and 27, you make the most changes to your personality. The good news is, if you don’t like who you are now, there is still time for you to change it. We often think that high school is the ‘discovering’ stage, and then college is another ‘discovering’ stage, but I think being in your twenties is perhaps one of the most monumental ‘discovering’ stages that we go through.
I for one, feel like I missed the memo that this was all going to happen.
Today at church, the sermon was about cleansing and renewing. I think this is exactly what we do in our twenties. We are like newborn babies, looking at the world in a completely different light. We have been sheltered from the world for the last 22 years and now we finally get a glimpse of what real life is like. Real life with a college degree is not as glamorous as I anticipated it to be. Being twenty and out of college, we are all suffering another identity crisis in which we are discovering ourselves. Some people make it look so easy. I kind of feel like I am one of those eight balls–on the outside, it is solid, but on the inside, it is evolving, mustering, gravitating.
The awesome part about it is everyone goes through these changes and challenges. And, everyone comes out alive (some of us a little more tarred and feathered, but nonetheless, still breathing). It is an interesting journey–I look back on myself even two years ago and my views are completely different. Being out in the real world has morphed me, made me more rigid, and allowed me to observe beyond myself. I am excited to see where this journey takes me and I am excited to see how my friends all change as well. Because that is truly what it is–a journey. I plan on using this blog as a way to document and watch myself grow, change, and mature.
The best part of all of this is I have no idea what will happen–it is a fly by the seat of your pants kind of deal. I am confident that, at the end, I will come out a different, hopefully more mature, person than I am now and I am excited to see what that looks like.